Computers and Technology

What is an open PLC?

What is an open PLC

An open PLC, also known as an open programmable logic controller, is a type of industrial control system that provides greater customisation and flexibility than traditional PLCs.

Allen Bradley PLC that uses an open architecture, publically available standard protocols, and interfaces that accessed by outside developers is referred to as a “open PLC.” Because of the increased customizability and adaptability, it is now feasible to develop distinctive hardware and software components that may be integrated with the PLC.

Open PLCs widely used in industries that need control systems that substantially customized, such manufacturing, process control, and building automation. They utilized as sensors, motors, pumps, and valves, among other devices and processes.

An open PLC has the benefit of providing greater flexibility and interoperability. It enables customers to select the components that best meet their unique needs and specifications from a multitude of options, including sensors, actuators, communication protocols, and programming languages. More affordable solutions and more customizable choices may result from this.

Overall, the use of open PLCs may help industrial control systems become more cost-effective and efficient while also providing additional opportunities for customization and flexibility.

Open PLCs offer a more flexible solution in terms of maintenance and upgrading. Users have more choice to purchase suitable components and upgrade their systems as necessary because not restricted to any particular manufacturers. Long-term cost reductions and improved operational efficiency may result from this.

Examples of Open PLCs

1. Arduino PLC:

The open-source hardware and software platform Arduino is well-liked for use in electronics projects and prototyping. There are several companies that provide PLCs built on the Arduino platform, including Industrial Shields and OpenPLC.

2. Raspberry Pi PLC:

Raspberry Pi is another well-known open-source platform that used as a PLC’s base. PLCs constructed with the Raspberry Pi offered by a number of companies, including Revolution Pi and UniPi.

3. PLCnext:

PLCnext, an open PLC platform, developed by Phoenix Contact. It is based on the open-source, free Linux operating system and offers a range of programming options, including the traditional IEC 61131 programming languages and more sophisticated ones like C++ and Python.

Check :- Rockwell Automation 1766-L32BXBA MicroLogix 1400 PLC


The well-known PLC programming development environment CODESYS is built on an open software architecture. It is compatible with a wide range of hardware platforms, including some open-source ones like the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black.

Open PLCs often provide greater customizability and flexibility than traditional proprietary PLCs, making them a well-liked substitute for do-it-yourself projects and small-scale industrial applications.

Advantages of open PLCs

1. Cost-effectiveness:

Open PLCs usually cost less than proprietary PLCs since they built on open hardware and software platforms.

2. Greater flexibility:

Because open PLCs are easy to modify and tune to the particular needs of a specific project or application, they are more flexible and customizable than traditional proprietary PLCs.

3. Community support:

Online forums for Open PLCs are typically active and beneficial, giving users knowledge, instructions, and support.

4. Access to source code:

Because open PLC users have access to the source code, they may understand how the system works and make modifications as necessary.

5. Integration with other systems

The creation of complex systems and applications is made easier by the ease with which open PLCs may be incorporated with other open-source hardware and software platforms.

6. Greater transparency and security

Since they have access to the source code and may inspect it for security issues, users of open PLCs can assess the system’s reliability and security.

In general, open PLCs provide clients more security and transparency while still offering a flexible and cost-effective solution for industrial automation and control applications.


A PLC from the future known as an open PLC is unrestricted by a single programming language. Other programming tools’ higher-level languages can also included. This gives us more flexibility when utilizing multiple programming languages to programmed a PLC.

Open PLCs offer a more adaptable and collaborative approach to control systems that is in line with the changing demands of contemporary businesses, and they represent a significant breakthrough in industrial automation technology overall. They play a crucial role in the movement towards more integrated, intelligent, and effective industrial processes because to their adherence to open standards and interoperability with a variety of hardware and software solutions.

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